tv Washington Journal CSPAN July 23, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EDT
and a little later, bill cassidy of louisiana and jim himes of connecticut. "washington journal" starts now. >> the fact we have made some much progress we have doctors, hospitals, even the pharmaceutical company saying that this makes sense to do a think means that the stars are lined need to take advantage of it. ♪ host: president obama and his prime-time news conference last night talking about the momentum for health care changes. we will spend much of our program talking about that with you and guest this morning. and the first hour we will speak with david hogberg and rep it eric kanter of virginia. we will also have your phone calls.
-- and representative eric cant or. the me introduce you to david hogberg who comes to his year- long reporting focusing on health care. what happened last night beating get the press conference? guest: president obama came off as very poised and calm. he may have given healthcare reform a little boost, but you have to look as the backdrop in which this conference was occurring. that is that reform has run into some major hurdles on capitol hill and the last few weeks. if you had asked me six weeks ago a lot of put it at 90-10 in favor, but today i would put it at 60-40.
host: what kind of odds would you consider those? guest: still reasonably good. the big question is whether democrats can get it out of the energy and commerce committee where seven or eight blue dog democrats are threatening to block it. my colleague has an article looking at the various factions among house democrats who are blocking reform. the blue dogs are one of them. some of the members from wealthier districts where the income tax surcharge would hit them, about 20 of those, are threatening to block it. there is even a third faction who are worried about funding for abortion through health care and they have expressed their concern. that is not leaving getting through the senate yet where the finance committee is bogged down in negotiations. at this time there are some big hurdles that health-care reform
has to get past. host: i am presuming that many of you watched the press conference last night and have been watching some markup sessions. we want to get to your calls as quickly as possible. just on where things stand, a glance at the front pages of the three capitol hill newspapers give you some sense of what the momentum or lack thereof is. inside this article, a democrat not by name is quoted there as saying 100 votes away. here is says that democrats tire of the max baucus talks. here it says that the august deadline on the seventh is now unworkable in the senate. where does that leave us? guest: it leaves us with the
very real possibility that momentum for reform will dissipate. the real risk here and one reason why they want to get reform through by the august recess is that when they go home for august the post could get organized and show up at town hall meetings. that has already begun a little bit. i also think that the cost concerns, deficits, that is a big issue weighing heavily on the minds of the public now. members of congress could hear that and would put even more pressure to basically not support reform. unless they get something done by the august recess there will lose momentum. it does not mean it is impossible, but does become more difficult. host: are their major contours' of the agreement between the two sides? guest: the big sticking point right now is the public plan.
there are still many democrats nervous about that, even some disagreement among the dogs of the that. i feel like the idea, and many of them are still very nervous about it. a think the big sticking point is simply the cost. that really needs, they need to bring it down, even a few hundred billion more. right now the congressional budget office has scored the house plan as an ad in about $230 billion to the deficit over 10 years. last night president obama emphasized this deal would be paid for. they really need to narrow that gap. i think that is one of the big sticking points now. host: we will begin with jim from maine on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. are you there?
a like to let the senators know about the health care in canada. a live one quarter of a mile from canada. i'm from new brunswick. i have two daughters who lived in ontario. i also have a lot of canadian friends and have worked with canadians on our side of the border. the point is that their health care does not cost them anything. it costs the government, but they pay taxes through it. however, they have no middleman, no insurance. that stuff about waiting six or seven months is all baloney. i wish these people would check out the health care in canada. i think it would be very surprised if they really found out what it is all about. i want to thank you, bye-bye. guest: what the caller is
bringing up are contrasting views on health care. he says that canada works rather well. and canada does cover almost everyone. it seems to save administrative costs. on the issue awaiting this, the canadian government does it measure waiting times, those for surgery and for cancer treatment. there have been at least as livi-- have been at least isolated incidences of people died while waiting. host: here is a message from twitter. guest: well, a couple of things. as for perfect health care there is no perfect anything. the simple answer to that is no. with regard to buy partisanship, i think republicans would probably have to give up at least some objections to a public plan --
with regard to bipartisanship. if cost reductions are not met, the public plan would then have to come into existence. there is also the real possibility that republicans would have to support some kind of tax increase. i think that is really why at least in the house you have seen no indication that republicans are willing to support health care reform. host: good morning on the republican line. which aspect of health care are you interested in? caller: pre-existing conditions, i think that is a big step. but i was a little disappointed last night when i listened to president obama. i really thought he would address the problems.
the guy is pretty smart. he knows exactly what to say. what he said last night sounded real good if you are uninformed. the bottom line, the problems in healthcare need to be fixed. but he is not addressing have to actually fix it. and to not spend trillions of dollars. if there senate is 1.2 trillion dollars over 10 years, believe me it will be five or six trillion dollars -- if they are saying that. look at medicaid, social security. the biggest ponzi scheme probably in the history of the world. people think they're putting money into social security and their spending every penny of it every year. guest: well, in terms of the
politicians something good if you are uninformed i think that applies to most politicians. but president obama said a lot of things last night that certainly do sound very good. opponents will have a quick and easy job poking some holes in them. one of them is his claim that reform will bend the cost curve on health care. the head of the congressional budget office was testifying infective the senate last week and he said natno, everything you're doing well raise the cost curve. opponents will use that. yes, government programs are nor tourists -- are notorious for
having people estimating the costs to have people low-balling those costs. there is the case with medicare where it ended up costing six are seven times the first estimate. people need to be wary of cost estimates. host: our guest has a phd in political science from university of iowa. we spoke before the program about having a phd as a reporter is an unusual thing. he also brings experience from capitol hill having worked as a policy analyst for a republican from nebraska and has been in a number of think tanks around washington. why did you want to go from the analysis and help crafting a policy to reporting on it? guest: a couple of reasons. one, i just wanted to get some journalistic experience.
policy analysis oftentimes you're reading a lot of studies and writing about research where journalism is talking to people in getting their views and then trying to meld the two. it was just an opportunity to do something i have not done before. for someone who gets bored easily this was a good step for me. host: wyoming, good morning on the independent line. caller: good morning, i do agree with the health care plan because i watch c-span to wrap the day on days that i do not work. i hear the republicans and democratic scoring of. it seems that the republicans always want to say no to everything. i cannot understand why. i think during programs are good for some people who need help along the way and if they eventually do not need it, then they can switch.
for too many people like republicans it seems like they do not like to help people and that is a terrible thing. host: we will go to another call from midway, west virginia. caller: i'm completely against obama's medical plan. i think that our care would just go to heck. i do not understand what he is tried to do. our senator kay rockefeller says that it is everyone's right to have health care. it is not everyone's right. i'm 65 on health care and i have mountain state blue cross blue shield and am very happy with it. i do not know where all the money's coming from or why all the democrats feel they need health care all the time. there are better ways of doing things. the republicans are not in on this and the democrats are taking over. we're going into socialized health care. we have the greatest health care
plan and the world and the democrats are trying to destroy it. only the rich will have private health care like jay rockefeller. i have worked my whole life for what i have and it is not much, but it is my. they want cap and trade in everything. we have to stop obama. it is all i have to say. guest: well, for starters, you are expressing a fear that many people are worried about. in particular that if democrats succeed in establishing a public plan that over time you receive the withering away of private health care, that more people and businesses would find it more economical to put their employees -- and the public plan would find ways to undercut the cost of private insurance.
whether or not that is going to happen it is certainly a very real fear. it could happen, but best one reporter from the new america foundation recently pointed out that many state governments have a public plan for their employees and their still private plans that compete with them. the possibility of either a public plan driving out private insurance, or maybe providential earns would find a way to compete -- either are real possibilities. -- or private insurance would find a way to compete. host: this is the president's response to chip reed. >> you have heard that as a consequence to our efforts to reform the pharmaceutical industry has already said they're willing to put $80 billion on the table.
why is that? the reason is because there is probably even more ways than $80 billion in terms of how the drug plan and medicare is administered. we might be able to get $100 billion out or more. but the pharmaceutical industry voluntarily said here is $80 billion -- do you know what that means? senior citizens who right now have a so-called done a poll in their plan -- donut hole in their plan, suddenly the drop off the cliff after spending a certain amount and to pay the rest -- suddenly half of that is still. that is a hard commitment we already have. it is a change in how we are delivering medicare. it turns out that means out of pocket savings for citizens. that is why aarp has endorsed this. guest: do not expect interest groups to give up much in the
long run. this is a case of when reform comes around interest groups would rather be at the table then on the table. phrma coming up right now is to cooperate to prevent worse things from happening. many of these groups will begin to fight these cost savings. for example, medicare with a sustainable growth rate which is supposed to impose cuts on the physician part of medicare each year if there are cost overruns -- the ama kind of agree to this when it was passed in the mid- 1990s and since then has flooded every year and successfully. i suspect what would happen if reform passed and phrma and other groups agreed to these cuts in spending, over time would like them. they would say that this is not what we really agreed to and it
is unfair. to the extent they are successful in putting pressure on congress i don't think the cost savings would materialize. host: here's a comment by twitter. any comments on that? guest: we do some things well and something's not very well. a lot of this medical mistakes it is important to understand come from the way we pay through medicare. for example, on infections medicare pays doctors and hospitals once for the ailment you arrive for and later on if you get an infection. there is less incentive for hospitals to be careful to prevent infections. with regard to canada, they may have less medical mistakes, but there is no such thing as a free lunch. canada has waiting lines, and
many of the rural areas you have difficulty even finding doctors. all systems have their costs and benefits. certainly there are plenty of problems with the u.s. health- care system. i think that the listener there is certainly indicates one. host: the next call is from georgia on the independent line. caller: bear with me for a moment. first, i think the republicans need to remember jesus and the fishes and the loaves. i think it is time that we turned our swords into plowshares and this country. if anyone has a question about the western world medical system they need to watch michael moore's documentary. we have [unintelligible]
me and my husband and we pay higher co-pays and they have doubled our it deductible. if i have a bone density test have to pay more out-of-pocket. like the fellow from maine said, insurance companies and nothing but middlemen. if you have medical people who run things and decide instead of pencil pushers about what medical treatment is necessary and create jobs there, then they do not want the competition. they are making tons of money. insurance companies make more money than most industries. also, i have something to say about the taxing. you're talking about taxing sodas, and not tax every industry a little bit, spread it around, that causes sickness.
my father died from lung cancer and my mother have copd from smoking of issues. we know that cigarette companies purposely put this in the cigarettes to get them addicted. my mother pays more for the patches to try to quit smoking ban for the cigarettes. the tobacco companies should pay for that. anyway, the coal companies, companies that put mercury into the water and air, all of these polluting companies -- tax them a little bit. spread it around. that makes sense. instead of just sodas with aspartame. donald rums felt was the ceo when aspartame was approved by the fda. 30 years ago i thought this, if
a woman will be on welfare, if you have another child, she would sign an affidavit agreeing to have her tubes tied. have the best doctors paid for by the government. that has been abused. host: thank you for your call this month. she basically proposes that the industries that make us and help the should pay their fair share for health care. guest: which industries are those? in the industry you point out to make us and help the in some way. should automobiles it pay for this? you're out there driving, have an accident. automobile companies obviously encourage us to drive. a couple of things that the reader brought up. with regard to michael moore's movie -- it was an elegant piece
of propaganda. he shot himself in the foot when he went to cuba and run around showing how great the health care system was in cuba. one of the things the listener brought up, and wish i had gotten the chance to ask of this -- i was just curious as to what extent she got her health care through her employer. the biggest problem we have with health care in the u.s. is the way that we pay for it. we have a tax system that encourages, gives you health insurance tax free but only if you buy it through your employer. if the tax benefit went directly to the individual and they could choose a health insurance company that better met their needs we would be better off. one of the reasons that the head of the cbo said we would not
bend the cost curve is perhaps because we're not changing the way that we pay for health care. there was some talk of capping the tax exclusion. that has now gone by the wayside. it may not be the best solution, but we're not talking about changing the way that we pay for health care. we're going to continue to see many people frustrated with private health insurance companies. given the way we pay for insurance, companies tend to pay more attention to the employer then the actual patient. host: here is what some front pages look like in response to the president's news conference last night.
this one is from columbia, south carolina, "the state." this one is from new jersey. here is the one from miami. one of our first caller's mentioned canada so here is that canadian newspaper. they have a story here -- a besets a no-excuses -- he says this kind of deadline. guest: the main thing is that obama held the press coverage in response to the fact that public opinion seems to be souring a
little at least on health care reform. a recent poll showed support dropped below 50%. you are also beginning to see president obama's numbers beginning to drop. i think much of it has to do with the economy. i think whose numbers will hold up and he still has enough popularity to possibly push health-care reform through. the american public will give him the benefit of the doubt for a few more months, but that might be about it. host: the next phone call is from philadelphia. this is on the line for democrats. caller: good morning, this is strictly a political observation. this is beginning to look like 1993, 1994 all over again with the clinton health-care plan. we had president clinton and a democratic congress and at that
time it did not even get out of this dingell's committee which is now mr. henry waxman's committee. i'm in the publicity, a blue state and we wanted the democrats to take over the presidency in congress. say what you want about mr. bush and mr. cheney -- they got things past. the iraq war, did anyone care how we would find that? $10 billion per month we are still spending on the iraq war? i do not remember anyone talking about the cost. but the democrats can i get this passed, i will tell you what. 2010 is not going to be a good year for the house or senate for democrats. guest: in some ways it is beginning to look like 1993/1994 when it was difficult to get anything out of committee.
but in other ways it is different. we have seen a few like the ways and means, education and the house getting proposals through. senate finance and energy and commerce as the viewer mentioned are still having a lot of troubles. other differences, a lot of the insurance industry has gotten on board. they have had trouble with certain proposals and have been picking away at the public plan option, but have not been quiet as opposed to the same extent they were back then. other things have changed. the internet with blocks and all that stuff was not around back then. -- with blogs. a lot of the opposition has begun to generate from the grass roots. the key parties also have something to do with it. -- the tea parties have
something to do with it. i asked people whether healthcare was on their radar. at the time it was not, but all of a sudden some of those tea parties are organizing protests against health care. it is probably due to the internet and information moving so quickly. that is very different from 1993/1994. we will see how obama and the democrats respond. host: the next call is from charles and shreveport on the republican line. caller: good morning, david. i am on social security disability. please answer this question. this is for everyone who is on medicare/medicaid. this is and the bill and the fine print on the democratic plan.
20 million illegal aliens are going to get health care. 20 million. now what is that going to do to my care? this is not fair. the democrats will do anything to get votes. this upsets me. i have worked all my life. we're going to get 20 million of them healthcare. we have people out of work everywhere. this upsets me so much. the democrats would sell their souls to the devil. this upsets me. guest: well, i think this is a little less of a health care question and more of an immigration question. as far as i know it is not actually in the bill. it does not say we will get illegal immigrants healthcare benefits. the problem of your races is like any other government
benefit the extent to which the government is watchful about who they give benefits to -- there are plenty of it agencies were illegal aliens are able to get benefits. healthcare could certainly be victim to those same problems. host: thank you very much for being with us. i will encourage people to find you on the internet. your byline is on this story -- health care mandate will kill jobs, most small businesses are giving go guest: there is a lot of concern among the small business committee to the extent that complying with a mandate will enable them to continue to create jobs, whether it will increase their costs. there are some small business organizations that think it will save money. i explore that debate. you can also check it out on our website. host: to go.
we'll show you more from the press conference last night and be back to talk to congressman eric cantor. >> first of all, you have not seen me at their blooming republicans. i have been a little frustrated by some of the misinformation coming out of republicans, but that has to do with politics. if someone says let's try to beat this said that we can gain political advantage, well, that is not with the american people expect. i am very appreciative that people like chuck grassley on the finance committee and the senate, people like mike, olympia snowe, have been serious in engaging democrats and tried to figure out how we get a system that works. even in those committees were you did not see republican
votes we have seen republican ideas. for example, in the health committee in the senate 160 republican amendments were adopted into that bill. they have ideas to contribute. the politics might dictate that they do not vote for health care reform because they think it will make obama more vulnerable, but if they have a good idea we will still take it. host: on your screen is the chief deputy whip for the republican party, mr. cantor, thanks for being with us. where does health care debate and the legislation stand in your eyes right now? guest: we heard the president last night talk about the need for us all to support some kind of health care reform. i do not think there's any question that any of us accept the status quo, but we have to get around. the president seemed impatient that we were not necessarily
embracing his government healthcare plan. there are many questions about what that means. what we heard last night it was not many details. the president got into some discussion about the government knowing that doctors are prescribing the wrong remedies. and that we in washington can do better. that was a think a very alarming statement. all of us need to work together. we should deliver the health care reform and get it right. host: what does getting it right mean? guest: number one, we have to realize that most americans have health care and like their quality of care. we have to maintain quality and
increase the ability for the private sector to stay in the game. it means adding flexibility to the employers up there who do provide health care benefits. nearly 70% of americans under 65 get their benefits through employers. we need to be able to allow those businesses to stay in the game and reduce costs. secondly, we have to do something to make certain people who lose their jobs are not necessarily losing their health care. we have to provide the ability and flexibility in law some people don't lose the protection when they lose their job. lastly, we have to figure out finally have to reduce health- care costs. a big fact that is missing is the runaway litigation. somehow where doctors are practicing defensive medicine. some estimates reach $300 billion we could save if we can
institute reform. these are the type of things that need to be discussed. we are not laid out last night. the public opinion polls continue to decline and people's approval of this present health care plan and increase and skepticism. host: here is a view from the viewer with a very different point of view. it is not about popularity and obama. it is a life and death struggle for a basic need it that our government refuses to grant us. what is your take on that? guest: the notion that the president suggested that somehow people are trying to exact political points -- i think that is a strong man argument. all of us want to do something to address the problem with the status quo.
we know that there are millions of americans were now facing a health care crisis. when you do not have insurance is a crisis for you and your family. we are committed to get it right. to make sure that more americans have access to basic coverage. make sure that the americans who have health care they like can keep it. host: the next telephone call is from frederick, md. on the independent mind. caller: to go for taking my call and thank god for suspending the this health care situation will not get fixed. even obama is supposed to be for the american people, but these people are paying millions of dollars in lobbying conflicts. all the insurance people and
congress people are using the americans as a big piggy bank. people die every day for lack of health care. this is a big racket. this continues the cash cow for the insurance people and congress. this is criminal. you have to take costs of health care otherwise it is a big joke. host: taking profit at of health care. guest: we have to emphasize patient choice and the ability for us all to see the doctors we want and provide the care doctors believe is necessary. the real question is, how do we facilitate that? last night we heard from the president was not much detail as to how he thinks the government
can step in and do it better and bring down costs so people can have more access. what we do know, however, is the more patients understand what is involved with the procedure the more they understand as far as what options they have are available, the more they can talk to the doctor and allowed their doctor make the decision. that will provide better care. that is the direction we need. casting blame on folks who say, on some -- the president said there are some who want to do this and stop this for political reasons. we should stay away from that. we should all come together to get this right. it means so much to so many americans. host: the next question or comment comes from the republican line. caller: it seems like you can never waste a good emergency or crisis.
the new keyword is that everything is a crisis. my mother grew up in the depression. as long as there was a little bit of food on the table and a door to let you could go to bed safe. everything was fine. we have become a nanny state. you know who makes the problems? the people in government make the problems. he sat there with your high salaries and a giddy committees and looked down your nose is to treat us like fools. we do not need your government, programs and everything else. we need you, all but we need you to do as republicans and democrats -- you are all a bunch of crooks. you need to secure our borders, follow the fourth amendment, keep electricity and utilities and get out of america's way. get out of the american people's way with all of your programs. we have obama running the car companies and banks.
you have $3 million and signs that say obama stimulus. it is ruining america. where were you republicans eight years in power and you would not secure our borders. you want to know why america is disillusioned with you? because it does not work. guest: ryan, i hear your frustration. i share your frustration that washington cannot seem to deliver results. let me try to address the question about government takeover you're right. will we have seen over the last seven months in washington it is the most extraordinary expansion of government and probably 200 years plus. congress quickly came to session this year and passed an almost $800 billion bill. something all republicans voted against.
we felt it was more of the same. washington waste, pork-barrel politics without many results. we are in one of the most serious economic situations of our generation. we should be very focused on how to get people back to work. that bill did not do that. that is why we continue to say let's get a ride. let's take some of these unallocated stimulus dollars and put them to work. -- let's get it right. we have seen not only the expansion and incurring of more debt, but also the takeover of the american auto industry. i think that strikes people in such an extraordinary weight as wrongheaded. -- such an extraordinary way as wrongheaded. i am very dissatisfied at the approach the administration is taking.
congress saying they know best that americans know what kind of cars they want to drive. as far as how much they should consume in gas mileage and how much they should pay for cars. the same goes for health care. the presidents of delivery last night was vague on details. he said we need to get this done. the republicans and the house continue to say look, we feel very necessary for us on doctor- patient relationships. we should provide the choice and access for those who have health care and like it and spread it to more people. we only do that by bringing down costs. neither party has shown the ability to do that. host: our guest was elected to congress in 2000 for the first time. he served nine years in virginia
house of delegates. he has a bachelor's degree from george washington and a master's from columbia university. in what? guest: in real estate. host: our next phone call -- the guest: it is actually a around richmond and culpeper, virginia. host: here it is our twitter message. what do republicans criticize canada's health system? guest: today the republican healthcare solutions working group will hold a forum at noon on exactly this question of how outcomes are different in systems like canada and like the u.k. we will have discussions from experts who understand the
systems and the impact on those in those systems. the anecdotal evidence and evidence itself shows people who are sick with certain types of conditions have to wait an extraordinarily long time. god forbid you are stricken with breast cancer and that these systems, particularly in the u.k. if you are in the government plan there's a good likelihood you will wait three up to six months to begin your chemotherapy treatment. we know that is too long and may be too late. americans have become used to level of quality of care that they do not want to lose. by insisting that the government should be the one deciding on that type of care is very scary. we need more attention given to how we preserve the quality we have.
host: there will be streamed live on c-span.org and put on our television schedule later as senate evince conclude. the next phone call is from alexandria, virginia. caller: yes, what saddens me is the pathetic lidice of this whole health care debate. it has nothing to do with party affiliation when it comes to saving people's lives. this is the truth. this system will fail miserably. you have the politicians, big banks, you think tanks and elite groups -- you all have this sewed up. i do not see how many of you can
look at yourselves in the mirror or go home to your homes and look at your children with a straight face i do not care if you are blue dog, hot dog, or corn dog -- this mess will be the destruction of this nation. also, you must remember that the republican party, the democratic party have done nothing realistically since i can remember. i think can a belt dr charlescrew who pioneered of blood plasma -- and a woman down self because of the color skin got denied health care. i can only think what he and other pioneers who did all they could to help this cause and they are in their graves waiting to be resurrected. and we're still going on with this nonsense. guest: i hear your frustration.
it is focused on washington's inaction and inability to deliver results. that is central to the discussion. if you listen to the president last night there are many questions unanswered about his plan as to how the government will be better at delivering health care to the tens of millions, hundreds of americans who already have health care. what we do is look to expanding choice, putting people and their doctors back in charge of the type of health care they have. that is the republican plan. we want to join with like-minded democrats.
the reason this plan will fail is there is a bipartisan majority against obama's healthcare plan. people are uncomfortable with the notion that washington will tell doctors with the cannecan d cannot do. the washington will make a decision as to who can and cannot have access. that is not the american way. host: this twitter, and returns to quality. if these people have such long with lines, where week ranked 24th in life expectancy by the world health organization? guest: i do not know what the criteria was that the world health organization used to rank our system. we have proven if we can promote healthy behavior and have its we can prolong life expectancy.
we can prolong the quality of anyone's life. that is one of the tenants of the republican plan. we should add flexibility to businesses that provide health care so they can promote healthier living on the part of their employees. not only does that extend life, but also reduces costs. host: good morning, on the republican lending caller: i'm a little stressed at your lineup so far this month. even not have anyone who is an advocate of health care reform on the program. the first guy you had on in this litany i hear fromcan did this litany that i hear from cantor-- it is not true. his line to the whole country. 76% of americans are for the public health care option.
we're the 37th country in the world in terms of health care. we have the highest infant mortality rate in the industrialized world. cantor has a perfect health care plan for himself and for the rest of congress. if government is so bad i provide health care reform, would it mr.cantor give up his health care? if not and he will not give up his health care coverage and that which congress has which is government-run, why isn't he for extending the coverage to the rest of the american people? i'm tired of hearing these politicians who are on the tape of the insurance companies. one question for you, cantor -- how much money have you taken from the insurance industry to kill health care reform in this country? guest: first of all, and no one wants to kill reform.
all of us want to see the status quo change. as far as the government health care program that the fellow employes are on, yes, you're right. we should provide access to that type of coverage for as many americans as we can. the real question is, the government health care proposal on the table by the obama administration does not do that. the premise is that we will somehow bring down health-care costs. the government cannot other than cutting back on what it pays doctors, or cutting back on the type of treatment available. you will not be able to get where you're getting now. cutting back in terms of the price of medicine. money does not come out of anywhere. especially if you will expand
coverage to the uninsured. we need to look in the system now as to what works. when you have small businesses out there providing health-care coverage struggling under the rising costs and trying to address that by keeping costs low and have demonstrated they can do that, we ought to take the lead from them. it is trying to promote good behavior. reward those who lead a healthier lifestyle. putting flexibility into the system like that. we need to make sure that people who lose their job did not necessarily lose their protection. then we have to pay for it all. that is where the president's plan defies the promise that he made that he will not impose taxes on people making less than $200,000 per year. we have seen that in the marked
up as has occurred in some committees in the house as with the ways and means committee for you have those using their help savings account money and flexible spending account money to buy over-the-counter drugs. those people are making less than $50,000 per year. this will plan allows them to use that to pay for over-the- counter drugs. the president says beyond that we put a tax on small business. that is not what we should've. -- that is not what we should be doing. host: it is actually a tax on income for high income earners. guest: it is both. first it is a surtax you were speaking of which applies to people making over $200,000 per year. 50% of those are small businesses. number two, it requires that
employers pay an 8% payroll tax if they're not offering a benefit plan which it is acceptable to an unelected board here in washington. regardless, there will be the imposition of a tax. this begins with small businesses that perils at $400,000 and up. frankly, they're struggling right now. -- those that had payrolls of $400,000 and up. host: the next call comes from the republican line. caller: when you have inelastic demand you not reduce cost unless you increase supply. when not spend money increasing the number of providers, do it through the u.s. health service, and have them provide health care to the uninsured and those
who cannot otherwise afford it. you would take them out of the system. he would therefore reduce the cost to those who have insurance. he would increase the supply of health care providers which would ideally reduced the price. -- you would increase the supply of health care providers and you would therefore reduce the cost to those who have insurance. guest: you do not want to have differentiation on the quality of care. that is why we have to look at what is wrong with the system now and try to address what is wrong without throwing out what works. the government has a system and they are the largest payor -- we have essentially price thu-6 in
progress. the best doctor gets paid the same as the worst dr. we should reward merit-based care. if we can look at the way that the government programs reward and pay providers may be we canstem those who are making decisions not to continue practice. and they do not accept a government penatients because of how confused the system is. there is a lot of discomfort right there a bell health care reform. we need to get this thing right. it is important to many families to maintain the quality they are used host: tto.
host: the next call comes from kentucky. caller: i think the republicans should turn down medicare when they become eligible. if you are paying 300 for your health care and our taxpayer money is subsidizing $600 of your health care cost according to republican yesterday. here in louisville, ky we're having a big crisis with blue cross blue shield. the trip largest hospitals cannot reach an agreement over money. -- our largest hospitals could not reach an agreement not patience scheduled for surgery are unable to get it. people have long-term relationships with doctors are having to change because blue cross will not cover them. so, how could the system be any
worse than is now? also, you fail to answer how much of the $1 million per day that the insurance companies are spending on lobbying against it are you receiving personally? you have been asked that and you refuse to answer. give us the dollar amount, please. guest: ok. first of all, you ask how the system could be any worse if you watch c-span when they run this recording of the health care forum we will have today on capitol i think you'll get some answers. if we go in the direction that britain or canada has gone i think you will then see how much worse off the americans can be. that is what we do not want. we want to preserve access to quality care. as to whether people here in
washington under the federal employee plan, and why is our plan not good? i think you are so clear. everyone should have access to quality care. republicans have continued to say that all of us should be under this option if it is so good. . . in trying to promote a plan the of putting forward. in fact, i have had a lot of differences with some of the
insurance companies, and some of them and their support of what the president has been saying. we don't know what the details are of this plan. what i don't want to see is an end to the type of quality that most americans have become used to. we want to spread the quality around. we want to provide some flexibility in insurance company so people can be protected if they lose their job. host: how you see it playing out? guest: listen, i think we are at a crossroads in health care reform. obviously the american people are becoming increasingly skeptical about the obama health care plan. they are becoming less comfortable with the notion that we should have government in washington take over their health care. and so, if we are going to get something done, we all need to get something together to understand what works in our system, preserve what works. again, what works is when you have people being able to choose their doctor and the type of treatment that they want and not have somebody here in washington
determine that for us, and then tried to address the cost situation. that has a lot to do with liability reform. never have we heard the president even fulfill his promise when he said originally that was going to be for some type of reduction in the lawsuits that continue to come at the medical and health care community that ad and some estimates for $300 billion. so we've got to be very attentive to the cost issue. that is a big one that is being left off the table. lastly, we ought to be paying attention to the priority, which is getting people back to work. and since most people get their health care through their jobs, i think most families right now would want to saywanthey, let's focus on economic security, and we get more coverage if more people get back to work. host: thank you very much. guest: thank you. host: but later on in the program will have another portions of open phones and a we have signs of freshmen members of the house of representatives
to continue the discussion -- we will have two freshmen members. since the arrest and cambridge, mass., the professions -- prof. days we have seen coverage of the cable coverage but not a chance in the phones to talk about. >> i don't know, not having been there and not seeing all of the facts, what role race played in it. but i think it is fair to say, number one, and of us would be pretty angry. number two, that the cambridge police acted stupidly in our arresting somebody when there was already proved they were in their old home. and, number three, what i think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of african-americans and latinos
being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. that is just a fact. host: we would like to get your telephone calls and asked you as you have been watching it unfold. host: professor henry louis gates, known to his friends as skip, has been our guest many times on c-span. i think we looked in the library and we had 23 citations of events that he has been involved in. and he is at the center of this discussion about appropriate police believe your and his arrest. "the boston globe," as you can imagine, is all over the story. the front-page -- from the press, it's. they choose that answer as their leader this morning. obama school's cambridge police, president from a friend of gates, says officers acted stupidly.
inside the newspaper -- the lowest, here is a photograph of the sergeant who was involved in the arrest. as you look at his picture, this is one he is saying. -- wrong story. sergeant at i of storms says he won't apologize. when sergeant james crowley conference steps of henry louis gates jr. is house an unexpectedly placed themselves in international headlines, it was not the first time he had a memorable encounter in a line of duty with a prominent black line. nearly 60 years ago as a press police officer he desperately tried to save the life of reggie lewis after the stock collapsed after practicing in the school gym. crowley was a certified emergency medical technician when he performed cpr on lewiston of bail after the player's heart stopped on july 27, 1993, and in an interview that day he said he rushed to the gym and confirmed that he had no pulse and frantically tried to revive him. now 16 years later he stands accused of racism by gates, one
of the foremost scholars on race in america. let us hear your thoughts on this beginning with a call from washington. go ahead, please. caller: everybody i think is missing the point, that if we just put yourself in the place a professor gates. if it was your house and this police officer came into your house, everybody would be upset. and i think if cooler heads have prevailed, then he would have just ok, thank you very much come and go on. but because he was black -- i don't necessarily think it was racist, but it definitely think there was some profiling. host: what does the discussion that has ensued nationally say about the state of race relations in america to you? caller: i think it has improved
-- president obama. but we still have work to be done. host: thank you for your call. next is a call from spring green, wisconsin. joe on the independent line. good morning. caller: i am a little bit confused over the delay here. i have my television muted right now. i and transplanted from illinois, and a similar thing happened to me. i locked myself out of my house and went around the house and got myself a letter out of the garage and i was climbing through my window and sure enough the police showed up at my house with the guns drawn. and my initial reaction was -- i was mad. this is my house. and they didn't really back down right away. after thinking about it, i was proud of these -- you know what?
if it was somebody else who was breaking into my house and all they had was my word for it that, i live here, i live here -- hey, these guys were doing their job. if the case is you want the police to, late questions someone who is crawling through a window -- calmly question, then voice your opinion and said, you know what, police shot and hassle people climbing into a window until they find out the situation. these guys, i feel like they did the right thing. if it was a stranger climbing through my window i would hope that these guys would show up in force and what serious faces on and ready to do what they had to do to protect the property. it was actually one of my neighbors -- it was dark out -- but they didn't know who it was and called the police and police responded i think appropriately. as far as the profiling, there
is a project in the city called cabrini green, city of chicago, mostly black. nearby there is half million dollar condos of rich people and i happened to be working there, taking a shortcut through cabrini green and the police pulled over because frankly a white guy driving through that little section of town there is usually up to no good. there to buy drugs or pick up a prostitute or whenever. and initially i had feelings of empathy for the black guys who get pulled over in white neighborhoods, but at the same time, these guys doing their job and as far as racial profiling, i didn't belong. and they saw something that was out of the ordinary and stopped me to question -- what are you doing here? and it was difficult to explain what i was doing there.
and they did take my word for it, however, it could have just as easily been an excuse -- or a law that was telling. host: the bottom line is -- caller: if, in fact of this was racial profiling -- i am assuming professor gates has a nice house in a nice neighborhood and everything, but you can't blame -- it is human condition that -- and especially with all of the training that these guys get as far as not doing the racial profiling, it is still an ice house and a black guy called for a window or whatever he was doing -- i am not really familiar exactly what happened, but that is the idea is when -- is similar when i was crawling through my window. host: the next call is from austin, ardell, republican line. caller: how are you doing?
it is sad, a country that can make me so proud to elect barack obama as president has not really changed. i live in austin, texas, and when i ride around with my caucasian friends to go see my mother who lives on the east side of town, we are pulled over. it can't be a black person and a white person writing in a car together unless they are up to no good or they are going to do drugs. and then it is not an apology given if you don't have drugs or they search your car and they don't find anything. like you should not have been here. how can things be so changed and still be the same? it is sad. what they did to this professor was insulting. people calling in keep
forgetting that the man showed them his id and the police officers still refuses to apologize. when you do something wrong, it's wrong. it doesn't matter if you are black, white, or otherwise. like i say, it is just so sad that we could change so much but yet still remain the same. thank you. host: thank you, austin texas. from "the boston globe," that has many sideburn stores. the photograph we have seen of the arrest -- there is right now -- taken by the neighbor. william carter was headed out from his home in cambridge for his daily coffee and a cross word puzzle @ au ban pan when he saw commotion four doors down. the former manager of bank of america saw four of us is on the porch and about 6 07 in the street so i grabbed my camera because when you see police, you know something is going on. something was.
moments later he's not the only known photograph of a handcuffed gates jr.. they say he was agitated as police had it off -- to face orderly -- disorderly conduct. i did know we was. interestingly, he went to an agent with that and he has now earned over $4,000 which will be split between the photographer and the agents. we had a caller from illinois, and "the chicago sun-times" put this above the mastin -- obama: police acted stupidly. inside, mary mitchell said arrested black professor should have known better. next is a call from washington, d.c., george on the democrats' line. audit of -- caller: we were raised to believe the police are there for us and we should respect them. i'm 47 years old now and every time i have had an encounter with the police -- never because i did anything wrong, they act
like jerks. and i don't understand what that mentality is. and i'm a white person, so i probably don't experience it as much as minorities do. there has got to be some kind of training that can be done for police officers to maybe allow them to not have that attitude of confrontation. they are supposed to protect and serve, which i think is the second part of the slogan. i feel bad for professor gates. i don't agree with professor gates on most of what he says. but as soon as i heard about this, immediately in picture -- could picture myself in that same situation. we have to work together with the police and they have to work together with us and that has not been my experience and i'm very sad about that. it is a shame. thank you. host: george washington. teresa from twitter says -- i
agree with president obama. this wasn't racially based ability on the part of police but our country is loaded with officers like him. interesting if there are any police officers watching winning to join perspective -- and offer your perspective. columbus, ohio, arnold, a republican line. go ahead. caller: i can sympathize with both sides. i had a recent situation where i had been stopped and pulled out myself -- i am professional. more recently i had a son who attends the xavier university. he was stopped -- and a frat -- he and a young friend were walking at night. they didn't have an early class. they were stopped, detained, beaten, arrested, charged with resisting arrest, under age drinking, disorderly conduct. it took us six months to fight
my son's case, nearly $5,000 in legal fees and at the end of the day he was coached by legal defense to just plead guilty to underage drinking. but they had not been drinking. there was no alcohol on his breath. the difference in the treatment s his young friend, who was white, was immediately taken right through the system and he is gone come out. my son had sat there for six months not knowing where he was to end up -- in jail or not? you know? i look at the complexity of this -- as a professional i'm stopped, profiled, called boy, told get out of your car, boy -- who are you talking to, son. what i am frustrated about is i have now to try to reteach my son to have respect for authority, those police who are sworn to protect -- and he said,
man, is just not right for me to be stopped and treated this way and who might to trust. and that is the real issue in the african-american communities. i don't happen to live in an african american community, but still, this thing continues today. and when you look at the professors case, what is really trying -- and earlier caller put the finger on it. the professor was not entering through a window or breaking a door, he was already in his home when the police showed up on the scene. he also furnished identification with his picture and address. so a reasonable police officer, law enforcement will look and say, hey, this is this guy's house. we face it too often. it is white and black. i want to say it is racial -- but it is white and black alike. what happens as a lot of these guys -- and i have friends or police officers. a lot of them get charged up in a moment and get a little
excited. and some of them, the badge becomes a god to them, i am god when i am on the scene and you are going to do what i say, no matter what. it needs to ramp down on both sides. i have to teach my children have to deal with a stop -- if they are driving, if they are walking -- because people talk about that. driving while black. it is also walking while black. it is also -- something our nation needs to work on and i hope we do address that. host: thank you for your call. listening to your comments and the aftermath of the arrest of henriette louis gates, skip gates from harvard -- henry louis gates. bill from the democrats' line. caller: not to follow up on what the gentleman just said -- i think it is a big difference regarding a person being stopped on occasion. but the gentleman being at his
home. i do not think anybody was wrong until he was arrested. the situation is what it is. he seems as though his home is being broken and of the proper thing is to inform the police and the proper thing for the police to do is to come by and just investigate. and once the investigation is underway and it is determined that the gentleman lives at that residence, regardless of whether he is being belligerence -- you are supposed to be scaled -- skilled -- physical skills as well as verbal, and make a regional judgment that this man will calm down later and realize the position i'm in, i came for the good of themselves as well as the neighborhood, to investigate. now, he is upset. i understand it, sir, appreciate it. and we are glad everything is
ok. and leave the man's home. as long as he is not being physically threatening to you, you should be able to handle the situation without taking offense to a and without taking it as an indictment on you as a police officer because someone is not being as calm as you would like them to be. so what the german need to do it is the situation -- gentlemen need to do, let it go, leave the man's home and he would calm down later and be appreciative you were there. but to take a man out of his home after you realize that and you notified that this is in fact his home, and then take them to arrest him for any reason, it is out of order. that is my follow-up. host: -- twitter has a different point of view. mr. gates appeared to be a racist and the situation. police have a job to do, and he was disrespectful to the officer. i am sure you heard the news
that the charges were subsequently dropped in this story about the police officer. it ends this way -- that officer, who insisted on anonymity because it was not authorized to speak to reporters said it racism is not part of it, and that is what is frustrating. the fact that the police did, drop the charges but the police officer look like he is wrong. listening to your comments, the next call is from jeans, gross point mich., independent line. -- james. caller: i think the situation is prophetic. mr. gates weighs 150 pounds he walks with a cane. disney version of known. he when -- when the police came, that is fine but they responded and asked mr. gates through the door who was. mr. gates opens the door, the policeman comes inside, and identifies himself as he is living there. and because of some exchanges
between mr. gates and the policeman, professor gates and a policeman -- now leave. and the police did not leave. the policeman, being the kind of guy he is, he should not be on the street. he should be fired. professor gates had to get on the phone and he tried to connect to the police chief and say get this idiot out of my house. he couldn't make a connection so the police decided, we are going to arrest this guy. that is where he was wrong. he should have apologized to professor ghaith, got out of there and got on with his business. a guy like this policeman to say he is not going to apologize, we ought to insist that this guy is fired and get him off the street and give him sensitivity training, give them a pen and pencil somewhere and keep this kind of thing off the streets.
host: james from grosse pointe, michigan. this and your aunt twitter -- after this and seven his neighbors will not call again, and some they might actually need the police. both sides handled it badly. the next comment is from shiloh, at illinois, adam on the republican my. what do you think? caller: good morning. to serve u.s. both sides are right. common sense and rationality dictates that. as many callers have stated, including the president's, once it was deemed that this man was in his own home, at that point it is a game over. officers simply say, sir, i apologize but i am doing my job, and leave it at that. the threshold of common sense -- an officer can't be spoken to badly? are they brownshirts?
at what point does freedom of speech come into this without a threat? that is the point. as far as the basketball player, i got to tell you, as someone who served this country and still serves -- i don't give a damn about that basketball player. in that case, the cop is doing his job as well. it has nothing to do with the color of the guy doing -- having a heart attack. this isn't necessarily about race per se, but a cop having common sense when the pressure is on. similar to a young man going into his back pocket for a wallet -- do you shoot? you say, well, it is he getting his wallet? it is just ridiculous for this guy to say i am not going to apologize. he never should have arrested the guy. the arrest was, i'll show you, buddy.
and the common sense of the people above him solve -- and possibly the district attorney saul there is no way in hell the arrest would stand in court. it is just common sense. no one is necessarily saying the cop is a racist but the cockpit a bonehead move. one last thing. the first caller from chicago -- my in-laws are from lincoln park, pretty affluent area near downtown. the gentleman says that i am writing through caprini and i am stopped from going through, that is kind of ok. there are no areas you are supposed to be in this country. if people want an adequate description of what racism is on black, white, latino side, it is -- sanctioned by the degradation of others for one's
self-esteem. that is an astute definition. ticket. host: adam watching us in shiloh, and illinois. we have about four more minutes. our next guest after that will be kevin puvalowski, deputy special and that the general response with oversight of the tarp program. there has been testimony this week about the state of tarp funds used and transparency beard we will be talking to him about that at 8:30 a.m. eastern time. wilmington, north carolina. sherry on the independent mind. what are your thoughts? caller: i am appalled over what has happened to our good professor. it is wrong, totally wrong. but i would like to say, this is not a racist thing. this is a way that our officers are. it doesn't matter if you are black or white, they have an attitude. i am king, what i say goes. there was a gentleman on previously that said he was trying to teach his children to respect the law.
it is commendable, just not realistic. the thing to teach your children is, answer their questions but don't give too much information. go on down and call your lawyer because our officers are trained that everybody is wrong and they are bad and we are going to treat you like garbage because we can. this is not a black or white issue. this is a problem with our officers. i live in -- county, we have a problem, the minute they stop you, they are just rude, ugly. i lived in south carolina for six years, the same thing. lived in atlanta for nine years. it is not a black-white issue. it is an issue that our law enforcement agency teaches their officers to treat the american citizens like they are criminals. don't teach your children to be disrespectful to the law, but
teaching them that they are in the presence of very rude, demanding people who like to be in charge. you be as nice as you can, get where you can call your parents if you are a minor and you get your attorney there. host: thank you, got around. only a few minutes. a similar theme struck by a socialist, reds -- he showed an id after he was and is house, there was no excuse for what happened. police need to be more accountable over all anyway. next comment comes from long island. democrats line geared what your thoughts? caller: people thought when president obama became president, things would change. what people have to start doing a show black people a better light instead of always demonizing them. i'm a family man, i raise my kids, they both went to college and they are doing good but you don't hear that -- from black
people on tv doing good of you here is the negative side. that's back to change. the way to change that is to have tv shows that show black people in that light. because this is always going to happen. that is all have to say. host: dr. john baker on twitter says -- at any charge to the list of crimes in america, lwb, living while black. newcastle, pa. beard shirley on the republican line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. this is too bad that this had to happen, and no one really knows what actually happened in that home other than the police. and the person that was arrested. i think that what maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves. but i will say this. you know, it is a shame what has transferred in this country because the blacks think they
are so mistreated and then they have whites who think there's a mystery. you know what? if you behave and do what you are supposed to do it and act appropriately and accordingly, you will not have yourself in this situation. you know yourself, and most people know this, if there is a job available and a black goes to apply and whites go to apply, you know who is going to get that job first. most of us know that. it doesn't go by high -- how well qualified or what you're able to do, it goes by who you are -- if you are black you are going to get it because that is the way it has to be. and you know, it is justice -- a share. i would tell you something. there are just as many white people in this country who are so disgusting that they should be ashamed of themselves. also the blacks -- if you watch
the news, when there is robberies and killings, drug- related, address on the highway, what is it? it is not always black but it is a huge percentage is black. and i'm telling you, they got to clean up their act and they will be just exactly where they need to be. there are many, many good black people in this country, many, many, the black people, i know lots of black people and our community that a good, good people. you know what? they obey the laws and what they are supposed to do, live good and go to work and pay their bills and do what they supposed to do. so i just want to say to the blacks within the irving mistreated -- please, please. you are not being mistreated unless you are disobeying the law and doing what you are not supposed to do, then you are going to get mistreated. host: shirley, thank you. we are over time with that. i suspect what you have to say would cause another half hour of
discussion and debate. we will be back with open phones later in the program if people would like to pick of the topic. right now we are going to go back to the president's press conference from last night where he answered a question about transparency and tarp, the troubled assets relief program. let us listen to what he had to say and we will be back to talk to the deputy special inspector general who is responsible for oversight of the program. >> tarp inspector general recently said the white house is withholding too much informational the bank bailout. i question is, are you for filling your promise of transparency in the white house? >> let us look at exactly what they say we haven't provided. i would say we provide a much greater transparency than existed prior to our administration coming in. it is a big program. i do not know exactly what is requested. i will find out and have an answer for you. >> --
host: kevin puvalowski is deputy inspector general responsible for reporting in on the status of the troubled assets relief program, tarp, which we will call it for the rest of the session. what is the main message delivered to congress last week? guest: report came out last tuesday and special inspector general -- and the main message was that while treasury made some significant improvements in the transparency of the tarp program, that there are still some significant ways to go. you made a series -- we made a series of recommendations going to transparency and going to improvements in the public- private investment program and some other programs in tarp. host: specifically in transparency, and has been efforts, a web site setup to attract funds but a lot of complaints from the sunlight organizations about lack of information. what is happening and what are
your recommendations? guest: it couple of different programs. we always have to make sure we delineate between them. this is not the stimulus package. there is a website being set up right now, and that is what some of the criticisms went to. treasury also operates a website at financial stability.gov that has a good deal of information about tarp activities, and our website as well, www. -- we put out a report every quarter in which we tried to translate the very complicated wall street's programs that now 12 different programs all told into mainstream language of the general public can understand it. we explained the -- all 12 programs in all of our reports and give updates as well as the telling how much has been spent in each program.
host: how does the inspector general's office in this act with elizabeth warren's operations? guest: sigtarp and a congressional oversight panel are two oversight body specifically created by eesa, emergency economic stabilization act, which created tarp. we work closely with the congressional oversight panel. the staffs meet on a regular basis. and they do corning projects. for example, just most recently we have undertaken an audit on the warrants valuation process which will make it complementary project to cop's report that came out last week. host: i am going to have you translate that into non- financial language. what are warrants and how they work? -- how do they work? guest: when the treasury infused
capital into banks last fall, and it is continuing in the capital purchase program, in addition to other programs, one of the report -- requirements of eesa mandated treasury take warrants. a warrant is simply the ability to buy stock at a set price. in this way, the taxpayer would at least have the possibility of enjoying some of the upside potential if these companies did in fact improve and their stock price increased. as tarp recipients begin repurchasing their preferred shares, they have the ability contractually to repurchase the warrants that were issued to treasury at the time of the original transactions. these warrants artistically -- a typical have a strike price, the price at which the stock can be purchased. most of these warrants have a strike price that still exceeds
the current market price of the stock, the bank's stock. so the valuation of the warrant is not a straightforward thing and you have to go through a bunch of models, etcetera. and their different ways to value it. that is kind of the controversy that is going on right now, is how this treasury and these banks come up with the prices so that the tax. can get the maximum return possible and the cop put out a report last week concerning that process. host: we hope many of you watched the hearings that were on yesterday and the day before that look at the report on the status of the tarp program and out of that have questions. we'll go to phone lines in a few minutes.
do remember, you consent and e- mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @ c-spanwj. during that testimony of your book boss, reprinted the total -- during the testimony of your boss, he regularly talked about the total. a lot more than the sum of the parts that we often hear. can you talk about what is in that number? guest: let me start with tarp itself, but initially enacted as a $700 billion program through the use of other government funds and private funds over the 12 tarp programs. it now figures closer to $3 trillion. we thought in putting together our most recent quarterly report that it was important for the public, for congress, for
policy-makers to view that already large program in the context of all of the other bailout programs that are being administered by the federal government. we detailed -- or at least summarized approximately 50 other government programs over the course of the whole federal government, including federal reserve programs, fdic guarantees and other programs, non-tarp treasury programs, among others. and we summarized each program and gave them three separate numbers. one, how much money is actually out of the door right now -- approximately $3 trillion. two, what the high water mark was since the emergency program began at the end of 2007, and that is a number that gets to about $4.70 trillion. and then when you add up what the government has said could be the maximum total amounts
involved in these programs, and if you add the programs out and assume that every program was fully subscribed at the same time, you get a total amount of support in the amount of $23.70 trillion. we made it clear in the report that we are not suggesting that is $23.70 trillion of potential loss. some of these programs involve collateral. some have been discontinued and someone has been repaid. but if you look at all 50 programs and what the government has said as the total amount of support available -- $23.70 trillion. most of the you have accepted the number or estimate of what the troubled assets that this was intended to bailout told old? how much money are we putting against the problem and how big was that dollarwise? guest: there are lots of different estimates.
what the total exposure to troubled assets are, and they range a great deal. in order to get the correct number, you have the very open access to every financial institution in the united states, and that it obviously a task certainly beyond our capabilities. the estimates there are trillions of dollars in troubled assets on the banks of these financial institutions. host: trillion vs $23.70 trillion the i guess should be answered so the public knows how much of the fixed costs gets to the size of the problem? guest: certainly we would confront -- concurre with a view of having a good sense of the problem is perhaps the first that of what you need to do to address it. a lot of these 50 programs, a will to make it clear, our liquidity programs not designed necessarily to address a
particular asset. there are mortgage guarantees in that poll, for example. that is how these programs go. they are not all addressed on the bank's books. host: our guest is part of then sigtarp -- special inspector general for the tarp program as he serves as deputy inspector general. he was a federal prosecutor for the southern district of new york, the financial district, so he comes with a lot of financial oversight and law enforcement experience. i want to ask you -- because we are already getting twitter questions -- to explain where your office sets and what its reporting responsibility is? guest: of we are an office within the department of treasury but we are an independent office within treasury. and we report -- as set forth in
the statute, we are required by each quarter to report to congress. we are within treasury but the special inspector general serves at the pleasure of the president. we are certainly part of the executive branch and the reports are public and we are intended to be an independent oversight body. host: do tarp funds have a sunset? guest: the program does have several provisions -- first, for example, treasury cannot institute' additional investmens pass this year unless extended through treasury. and the program and when treasury no longer holds assets that it purchased guaranteed. host: the web site is
sigtarp.gov, and what will people find? guest: they will find a lot of information about our office. all the reports that cannot -- including from this past money -- all the announcement, and most importantly, our quarterly report. we put a great deal of time and effort into this product every quarter, and it really is a place to go. if anyone has a question about what is going on in any tarp program, this is the first as you should look. host: we have a guest as a follow-up on the hearing before congress. let's hear your questions. the upper marlboro, md., our first call. frederick, democrats line. caller: good morning, susan. i do have a quick question. i know it is off topic -- but i hope i get an answer. what is your criteria inviting
your guess? " scud this particular war in general -- host: this particular guest? on a come erick kanter was over there -- caller: eric kanter was there. just last night the president had a press conference and then this morning -- i don't know. you invited cantor to give the other side view of the press conference, and want to know the criteria. host: yesterday we had congressman gene green very much in support and i believe the producers ideas across the two days to live a different point of view. caller: but at the same time, er i, eiric cantor was the right
person because ollie did was you lies and no one was there. " so the basic idea was one guest at a time when we mix in a lot of calls and comments by e- mail and twitter that did criticize and it also support, which is how this program works. i want to move on because it is not fair to this gas. and if you have any other issues, we would love to hear them. we listen to your concerns. it is email@example.com, and please give us a call. we are spending time on the troubled assets relief program. our next call is from providence, rhode island. robert on the independent line. caller: good morning kidwell compared i would like to know if doj is doing investigating of existing ceo's and people responsible for the collapse. it seems like bernie madoff was the tip of the iceberg and there are many of them out there.
and it just seems unjust that nobody is being prosecuted. over the last years we saw maryland's pay $470 million in fines -- merrill lynch paid for rental and 7 million in fines but did no wrong doing. it is time these guys prosecuted. $65 billion for bernard madoff and trillions for other guys and nobody is bringing any investigative action. if you know of any investigative action on the way? guest: i no longer speak for justice. i'm not a part of the justice department and the longer and i don't want to comment on investigations that don't relate to tarp. however, as we disclosed in our last quarterly report and as testified in front of the hill this week, we have 35 ongoing criminal investigations into tarp-related activities. we already had a criminal charge
concerning a fraud that occurred in tennessee. we are working very closely with various law enforcement agencies -- fbi, the sec, the department of justice, various inspectors general offices, ice , postal inspection, irs -- if you can name an agency, we work with them. and the investigations run the gamut from mortgage modification fraud programs to accounting fraud at large banks who either obtained or attempted to obtain tarp funds by inflating their valuations, and many other criminal investigations -- insider trading. so, with respect to tarp, we have criminal law enforcement ability and we are working closely with the department of justice and others. host: the inspector general is mr. puvalowski's boss. here is one minute from the
hearing. on the key recommendation of this current report. >> that recommendation is one we continue to make today, which is treasury requiring tarp recipients to report on how they are using their money. treasury repeatedly refused to adopt the recommendation, and as a result, in february, was sent out letters to each and every financial institutions to ask them directly to report to us to prove that they can provide meaningful information, that there is a purpose to requiring banks to account for the use of funds. yesterday we issued that audit results and the evidence is, as we suspected. contrary to treasury's suggestions, banks can and should be required on how they are using funds. they reported a variety of different uses, aside from just lending, as the chairman noted, to acquire other financial institutions and make investments, pay down debt. all different forms that can and
should be verified and can be part of the basic transparency of the tarp program. host: lots of questions come from that. first of all, why the hesitancy on the part of treasury to ask for such reports. guest: i don't speak for treasury, but what they told us is that due to the inherent funding ability of money, this exercise would just be meaningless -- fungibility of money. we object on a couple of levels. both of our paychecks go in our joint checking account and i can't tell you when i pulled out my credit card and pay for dinner last night, i can't tell you whose paycheck pay for that particular dinner. but if i'm lucky enough to get a bonus payment, i know a big infusion of money -- we set down and talk about where the money should go. we pay off debt, buy a new tv, what have you. i could give you a pretty good
sense of what i did with that new capital infusion beard what we are talking about here is banks whose job is to keep track of money. and these cpp investments are significant infusions of capital so from a common-sense basis, it was our view that banks could indeed track the baked -- basic sense of what they have done with the money. we sent out a survey back in early february as the banks what they did with the money, and the results came back. we received a 100% response rate and nearly all of the banks who responded reported it could actually tell us in more lsd tell depending on the institution what they basically did with the funds. so both from kind of a logical common sense perspective and now back up from the audit results, we think this is a possible and be the right thing to do for transparency, for assessment of
the program, and its success in the future. host: is treasury required by the legislation to do such reporting? guest: not required by legislation to report on the recipients use of funds. it is required to report on its own, where it is putting the money and does so on its web site, but it is not required by statute. we think it was a very idea to do so. we repeatedly from the eighth day of the existing -- existence, and at the time there were two employees, nil brodsky and myself, we made that and would continue to make it and now supported by an auto products that shows that the theoretical idea of fun debility of monday -- fungibiltiy of money does not outweigh the fact this is possible and desirable. " scud do you know that -- host: you know if there is an update of the legislation by
congress? i know it goes beyond your purview. guest: there are proposals, there was commentary during a hearing this week in which members from both sides of the aisle suggested to treasury that they take another look at this. the question at last night's press conference with the president, he suggested he would take another look and we encourage treasury to take a closer look and adopt our recommendation. host: the second thing that comes out is the substance of what you learn. are the majority receiving tarp money using it in a way the legislation intended? guest: that is a complicated question, but let me take a shot. first of all, let me indicate the limits of the audit. we ask them, and they told us. we have not checked it, there are hundreds of banks and we will do some follow-up work. however, there are some very distinct patterns. edie% of the banks indicated that they used the money for lending-related activities --
80%. that might have been new loans, that might have been to bolster their balance sheets so they didn't have to reduce loans. they would have had to reduce loans but for the infusion of funds. other banks reported on repayment of debt through be leveraging their balance sheet. approximately a third of the bank's report that they purchased mortgage banks' securities and the market, and that would not necessarily affect our own lending but affect the landing of the institutions from which they are buying mortgage-backed securities. some institutions, 4%, indicated that they would use the funds to require other is -- acquire other institutions. whether they are good uses or bad news is, there is no particular requirement in the cpp program in particular on how the money was supposed to be used. so, our job is to show the
american people, showed a policy-makers what is being done so that a debate can be had as to what the appropriate uses of these funds are, and we will leave its to other sites. all of these could be commercially reasonable. they are consistent various aspects of eesa. it is about increasing lending, but also financial stability. and if banks are increasing their capital cushion so they can better weather adverse economic circumstances, we are not making a judgment as to whether it is a good thing or bad thing. our job is to make it known so other people can make the policy decisions. host: on that note, a viewer asks one twitter -- what power the have when you find fraud? guest: yes, when we find fraud. we operate a hot line that is available and accessible to the public by phone -- 877-sig-2009
and it is also available through our website. when you find indications of fraud, we investigated. part of our function is criminal law enforcement. we are very quickly building a very sophisticated white-collar fraud enforcement section. so we have the power to investigate when we find that there is probable cause. host: how large is your staff and how has your funding been to embark of this larger role? guest: back in december, we were two, now we are approximately 70 and our goal is to build to approximately 160 staff by maybe the first quarter of next year. our budget, eesa itself provided initial funds of $50 million and that will get us into next year. we have a budget amendment requests from treasury pending
-- so far the budget needs are met. host: pennsylvania. caller: yes, good morning. i would like first off to tell mr. puvalowski there, i appreciate his tenacity and he -- his duty to the country. i have a question in regards to -- go back a little bit, too. in december, he only had two employees to help you investigate and now you are up to 160 -- or that is the goal? guest: that is the goal. caller: that tells you the leadership of president obama, in my regards. but i do appreciate your tenacity, and my opinion, go out there and give them hell.
my question is -- of the $700 billion -- i just heard the other day that one of the banks paid back -- i hate to use the word bailout because i would rather use the word investments. i heard one bank paid back, plus we made $320 million. i don't know what bank it was. host: it was goldman sachs. just because time is short, what is your question about that? caller: held of the whole tarp, give a projection of what the americans could make. host: thank you, michael. guest: this is a very difficult question to answer and various beheads kallenbach -- have
opined and the congressional budget office has an estimate how much is likely to be lost. the answer to the question kind of varies depending of the program. the capital purchase program, the program we have been talking about in terms of the investments of preferred shares and how some of them are paying them back. goldman sachs just a payback its warrants at $1.20 billion. it may well be that with certain programs, the government action and makes a profit. in other programs, that are not even designed to get money back. the mortgage modification program, for example, includes a 15 billion -- $50 million tarp investment paid to servicers to incentivize them to modify homeowners mortgages. that is not intended to get the money back. depends on the program, it depends a great deal on what happens with the economy in the next two years, five years. we have not made any independent
estimates as to how much will be gained or lost. host: the next call is from palm coast, florida. richey on the republican line. caller: it sounds so confusing. this gentleman has a horrendous job with this kind of money out. being an inspector general -- they do have a lot of power, civilly and crumbly. to me it seems like a lot will collapse and a lot of money will be lost somewhere. i think the president will end up on this gentleman and -- the pressure will end up on this gentleman and his department. i don't know if he knows exactly what is going on with all this money out there. that is about all i want to say. host: do you feel the pressure? guest: it is a daunting task, no question about it but one at the end of the day is possible if treasury workload -- works
closely with us to make these programs as resistant to fraud and abuse as possible at the outset. . host: you're urging the treasury department to set up a system and if it doesn't happen, then congress needs to revisit it. guest: i couldn't have said it better myself. host: please come back, because there is lots of money at stake and we like to keep people appraised of it. we will take a short break and
>> utah governor john huntsman has been nominated to serve as u.s. ambassador to china. his confirmation hearing is this morning before the senate foreign relations committee. he will testify before other diplomatic nominees to japan and other countries. we will have live coverage on c-span 3 and on-line at c-span.org. at noon today, house republicans meet to hear ideas on healthcare reform legislation. we'll have that live on c-span 3. this weekend, watch a 1997 extended interview with the late frank mccourt talking about his book "angela's ashes." saturday 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2's book t.v. q&a sunday, susan jacoby on the public's fascination with the espionage trial of alger hiss at
8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. join the conversation on civil rights an race relations with n.p.r. and fox news analyst juan williams live in two weeks on "in depth" on c-span 2. host: we're pleased to introduce you to our final guests this morning, two freshmen members of the house of representatives, bill cassidy, sixth district of the louisiana area, around baton rouge, louisiana. he is, by profession, a physician an serves on education and labor and agricultural committee in the house of representative. also with us, jim hin nes, in the seat held by christopher shay who lost in the 2008 election. he is from the financial services industry and also chairs a new democrat group dealing with the market
regulatory structure. we just had the inspector general on about the tarp funds. what is your view of the economic outlook of this country right now? >> well, i think it's clear we're in a much better world than six months ago when we were worried about whether the global financial system would collapse. as politically poisonous as the tarp was, i think the people who architected it and voted on the tarp can say it served a purpose in stabilizing the banks. now, the banks aren't lending the way we want them to lend and employment is not close to where we want it to be but we're out of the phase of panic that consumed the nation six months ago and all of us are crossing our fingers that we are return to stability and growth and employment. host: the major message from the inspector general's office of the estimated $27.3 trillion, when you look at all the different programs to aid
different sectors in the economy, that there is not enough transparency. would you agree with their assessment? >> again, you have to go back to six months ago when hank paulson, the treasury secretary, came to the congress. neither bill nor i were there back then, but they said you have to act today or the economy goes away, so it's easy now, six months later when the banks aren't failing to second-guess some of the decisions we took, particularly for those of us who didn't have to take that very hard vote. the fed and a number of entities stepped in in a major way. bernanke was in front of us this week and pointed out that his balance sheet has shrunk dramatically in the last six months or so. we need to see that continue to happen. we have seen $70 billion repaid with interest, so it's too early to call those programs a success but we are not in the crisis we were in six months ago, and we want to continue to see those
measures begin to shrink. host: one of the huge debates and the question over how to regulate the market seems to be whether or not the federal reserve should have an enhanced role. what is your position on that? guest: i guess i would say the federal reserve, in as much as it is using taxpayer dollars needs the same kind of oversight that we cover on other government agencies. that's important. there is a bill before congress now being debated about when it requires more oversight. point two is, and i feel strongly about this, we as a congress, we as a country, cannot do anything which would compromise the monetary independence of the federal reserve. they need to be able to do something. they will have to do it sometime in the next couple of years, which we will hate and that's raise interest rates because that's the only way to avoid inflation. it is imperative that congress not mess with their independence when they take that unpopular step. at this point, let me give you the telephone numbers and then we will open the phones to your
questions. our digital means of communication, send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and our twitter address is c-span wj. let me turn to you for reaction on the president's conference on healthcare last night, billed as an effort to persuade the public as a need to do this. what did you think? >> guest: well, the president speaks extremely well. i agree with the goal. we all want affordable high-quality healthcare that all americans can access. now, i disagree with his prescriptions. i think that there is a certain, oh -- when he presents them, he selectively presents and tries
to build his case. he's very good at projecting objectivity. he's a good communictor. i did disagree with his prescrin for where healthcare should go, but i share his goals of where we need to be. host: it is billed by some members as the most important bill they will vote on next to a decision to go to war. do you know where you on this? guest: i am enormously proud of this president and congress to take up such an urgent issue. we agree that it is out of control right now. i, like many members of congress, are not satisfied with what's on the table today. we are in the middle of a process to work out what will hopefully be a better bill. personally, i applaud the plan's attempt to provide insurance to all americans. look, every american family should have access to a doctor. where i'm uncomfortable is that we have an opportunity here to
radically change the growth in the cost in the system, which is spiraling out of control. fixing that is key to fiscal stability of this nation, of the states an of the towns and cities. this plan does not do enough to control the costs of the healthcare system. that's nobody's fault. that stuff is really hard work. we need to make more progress in terms of cost control. host: can you help americans understand what is at the heart of increasing healthcare costs, which increases well past the rate of inflation. what causes that? >> guest: theres was a nice artd kell speaking of the three imperatives for controlling costs. the three imperatives are, one, lifestyle. right now, our country has obesity epidemic which is truly driving cost. there is an article on health affairs which would suggest that the entirety of the difference in cost between the united states and europe can be
explained by how much we have to spend to treat obesity an its complications. the second imperative that it spoke of is decreasing administrative costs. for a family practitioner, 40% of her overhead relates to billing insurance companies. now, frankly, one of my concerns about this proposal is that it actually increases the administration and does little or nothing to discuss lifestyle. lastly is transparency. we have to have somebody who is value conscious, somebody who says i want to get the best deal for my knee replacement, someplace where he or she can go and figure out what is the best deal for that knee replacement. again, i don't see that any of these three factors emphasized in this bill and the absence of them is what is driving costs today. host: complex topics all. let's begin with a call from houston. this is bill on our republican line. good morning.
caller: good morning. i would like to go over three things quick. one, i have watched the energy and commerce committee in the house and the health committee in the senate. one, doctors look like caring people about trying to fix things and do things constructive. i'm so disappointed that mr. waxman and mr. palone think they know more about healthcare than dr. burger. it is unbelievable to me that they won't accept his mentions. same with barbara mcculski with dr. coburn. they don't want to listen to him. he sounds like a man that really cares, really knows about the delivery vis tem, and they shoot him down constantly. they say they want to work with republicans and they take
some very easy amendments, but when it comes to the crux of the matter, if it's not in their ball game, go away, we don't want to listen. the third thing i would like to say is before we get into this new healthcare system, why don't we just fix medicare and medicaid first? get the savings there. then come back in a year or two after you fix this, and then come back and do something when we really have some savings and really can go ahead and do something for everybody? host: thank you, bill. let's take that statement about fixing medicare and medicate first. guest: i like your comments, bill, but one of the ironies is that the president says we have to do healthcare reform because medicare and medicaid are out of control. medicare is projected to go bankrupt in 2018, and almost every state is being threatened with higher taxes or decreased
outlays because of medicaid, so two federal programs are bankrupting the fed and the state government, and yet now we're going to add another program and assume that this is the one that is going to fix the other two. i think it is a triumph of hope over experience. our experience tells us that these tend to have far greater outlays than they have revenue, so i agree with you. i think that if we truly have saveings in medicare and medicaid, we have to ask ourselves, why have we not achieved them before. if there is $500 million in medicare that we can ease low-hanging fruit for savings, why can't we get it before? it is the ability of the government to run an entitlement program if there is truly the case that there is low-hanging fruit. i agree with that concern. guest: i agree with the comments on the importance of fixing medicare. it is critical from a fiscal
responsibility point of view. people talk about the budget deficit and we should talk about that, but the budget deficits are rounding errors on the unfunded liabilities with medicare, dr. cassidy. the aggregate promises we have made in medicare that we don't have money for is about $40 trillion. that is a uj huge issue, but why we haven't fixed it, and we have to look at what washington does and congress does. a republican congress and republican president put in place a pharmaceutical benefit in medicare which was one of the biggest entitlement programs ever put in place by the united states congress and added to that number. what does that mean? it means we need to take hard choices including something that phil didn't mention. i agree with the lifestyle and administrative costs. he didn't mention something that i think is critical to fixing the system, which is getting away from the fee for service model where doctors and everybody is paid to do more and not to do less and not to do the
smart thing. if we can get away from fee for service, a volume-based model, to a model where we reward people for good outcomes and treating diseases over their lifetime and thinking in those terms we can take costs out of the system and fix medicare. host: let me ask you to comment on the caller's comments on process. do you think your leadership has taken the right approach in bringing the right kinds of people around the table to understand the issue as well as they have? guest: i can't really comment specifically, but look, there has been 80 hearings on the subject of healthcare since this congress came together. i don't think you can say this is 1993 where this is getting created in a closed room, and, you know, i believe in an open and argumentive process. people get concerned about democrats and republicans arguing. that's the core of what we're doing here. what we're talking about is so complicated and so difficult that the more people arguing, the better answer we will have
at the end of the discussion. host: davis, oklahoma, democrats line. good morning, john. host: good morning. you have difficult challenges ahead of you. at the end of the date, you have to make a vote. is your vote going to be to better the district you represent or to better the country? host: i think that's a healthcare question. guest: mine will be for patients. for 20 years i worked in a hospital serving the underinsure ntd louisiana. 90% of my practice was treating the uninsured. one of the reasons i ran for congress is that i knew healthcare reform had to happen, so i actually don't think of my district or my country. i think -- it's going to sound almost maude lynn, but it motivates me. i think the patients who are uninsured are the small business who can't afford insurance and sometimes die because of lack of insurance. i also think of the taxpayer who is on the hook for what jeff are we come up for if we don't
come up with something that is right. it is more of a priority. guest: i wake up every morning and are remember that my title is representative and my job is to represent the 600,000 people in connecticut that elected me. i always defer to that. i disagree with the caller's divergence. look, i think a lot of what we do for the benefit of our constituents is also for the benefit of our country. i would add, too, there is a timing issue. i'm also a dad to two little girls. every morning i wake up and think about being a representative, i think about what is right for them. we can take easy decisions now. unfortunately, we have done that too often, but i do think about the kids that will inherit a tough healthcare situation or inherit a toughener jy situation. what do we need to do for them? host: congressman cassidy is a practicing physician, and when the house is in session, i
understand you see patients when they are out of session. guest: i do. >> gastroenterologist, served a term in the louisiana state senate. his wife is also a physician and they are the parents of three children. when did you decide to get into public service and representative office? guest: i would like to say again i have worked with the uninsured. i have been in public service then for some time. i truly mean that. for state senate, at some point, though, you're just sitting there thinking there is so much i care about healthcare, and i can only impact it so much when i'm actually seeing my patient, which is wonderful, but then you realize there is all these policy decisions that decrease my ability to care as i should or threaten the whole system. that's when i decided to run for this office. host: mr. himes is a graduate of harvard college, started at
goldman sachs, and also did public service work as a chair of the local housing authority in connecticut and chairman of the spare corporation of connecticut before coming into congress. what took you into the elected office role? guest: when i left the banking industry in 2002, i went to work for a wonderful national non-profit which built affordable housing in tough areas around this country. i got a real up-chose and personal look at the people who get left behind by our system. i department see quite as up close and personal when i was in banking. it made me realize we can do a lot better to provide opportunity in tough inner cities and poorer rural areas. at the same time, i saw -- look, i say this as a guy whose grandparents were all republicans. i saw the administration taking the country in a different direction that my grandparents wouldn't have recognized, whether it was on environmental issues or basic economic policy. you just thought now is the time
to step in and try to do something about that. one thing led to another. here we sit. >> a question on our independent line. good morning. caller: i have a couple of comments, one on the economy and one on healthcare. everyone i see on t.v. or representatives on c-span, they have nothing good to say about tarp. it's like it's presented as costing the taxpayers money and it hasn't cost the taxpayers anything. my suggestion is that you all should know how much profit you
know sna the government has -- you know that the government has made on tarp. the government had to be the last resort because the credit market was frozen due to derivatives so the government is borrowing money, very cheap, loaning it at a minimum of 5%, so the treasury department has made a substantial profit as a result of the tarp program. i think that needs to be made clear to the american people. on healthcare, i am a retiree from the allstate insurance group. allstate being an insurance company, it writes its own policy to cover its own active and retired employees, but they have an extremely well-managed function. allstate employees med medical
personnel to manage the health of the retirees. my insurance people yums in the last ten years has increased by 15%. it's because of the management of the system. all-site provides its computer technology -- allstate provides its computer technology to the doctors and hospitals and things like that in order to do the billing. a doctor has one set of forms for one insurance company, another set of forms for another insurance company and another set of forms for medicare. host: thank you. let me ask what the takeaway is from that example that could be applied to the current debate of
healthcare? guest: the three imperatives for healthcare reform is one is decreasing administrative costs, and so allstate has gone out proactively seeking to decrease administrative costs. that's very good. one of my concerns about the proposal put forward is that it has the the potential to increase administrative costs. secondly, i suspect there is an element to making the system more patient friendly. when you have a process where the bureaucracy is making the decisions top down, you can't control costs. if you make it where the patient is participating fully and their lifestyle improvements and their cost of care, then you can control cost, and so if allstate is successful at that, they would be good to to look at.
host: i'm looking at a twitter message saying why can't america have the same healthcare plan that congress has? explain how it works. guest: sure. congress has a plan where employees of the congress choose between a variety of private insurance plans, and it's heavily subsidized, meaning we don't pay as individuals the full cost of our health insurance. the government pays a portion of that. it's not too different from the kind of plans that people who work for private corporations have, and they choose amongst different options. they can pay more. they can pay less. their employers pay a little bit as well, and that's a perfectly reasonable model. now, we need to remember that there are an awful lot of people that don't have access to that model, small businesspeople or simply unemployed or what have you. those plans not the problem. the president's proposal, and the thing i don't like about the president's proposal i have told you about.
one of the things i like about having a plan like the congress has or equal state's plan, if you like, it you keep it. if you don't have access to that, you have an exchange that would be a choice of private options and a public option that you choose from if you don't have access to employer-provided care. host: another about how congress works. every time we have a member of congress here, people are now going to the sunlight foundations and other organizations to look at campaign contributions. i'm getting twitter messages, for example, in the case of healthcare, like dr. cassidy, campaign contributions from physicians in healthcare groups. i can look exactly here at the what the healthcare professionals, $33,000 in contributions. help educate people, what does this number mean with regard to your positions on these issues? guest: people support me because they recognize my values. people back home look at the
fact that i have worked in a hospital for the uninsured for 20 years knowing that i didn't have to. they look at that i came up with public health programs, vaccinating 36,000 children for hepatitis b at no cost to the parents or the school so the mother wouldn't have to miss work to take a child to the pediatrician and set up a clinic for the working uninsured. for physicians, i will complement my colleagues. they appreciate the fact that i am able to take the best values of medicine and apply them to public policy. i would like to think that they are honoring me. i don't think i have gotten a single call from a physician that says we want you to vote this way or that way. what they do is say explore this issue. will you look at this? i cannot get elected unless i raise money. my opponent spent between he and the democratic party, $2 million against he me, and i think i had $1 million spent for me. if you don't raise money, you
lose. on the other hand, we are here to represent, as jim said, and i'm honored that my colleagues see in my life the sort of values that they want to see brought to public life. host: mr. himes, is it financial oversight that you do? guest: i will talk about dr. cassidy saying we live in a world where to win an election you need to raise a ton of money. that's not right. the good news is where we are not where we were 100 years and write a $100,000 check. this are limits in place. dr. cassidy, i have known him and know he does what is right. the reality is when you look at the system as a whole and there is that much system flying around, people get better or worse access. that needs to change. you can take campaign contributions from people from whom you seek an earmark. for example, i get you $200,000 for a community center and you
throw a party from me. that is an outrage that. is one step away from bribery r that is the kind of thing that needs to change, not because it does influence the system, because folks that are twittering right now, they need the confidence in the system. there are still pieces in the system that don't provide a lot of confidence. host: are you working to change them? guest: yes, i have placed a policy where i will not ask or accept a contribution from anybody who i have sought an appropriation and have cosigned legislation that would make it against the rules to accept contributions from for whom you have sought earmarks. host: congressman cassidy, are you affecting changes or hoping to in the way congress operates. guest: i am cosponsoring a bill with jack i can spears that would strengthen the disclosure aspect of it, that would folks to put on the home page what earmarks they are requesting. right now, we are supposed to put it on our website, but it can be buried deep within. let's say it defeats the purpose
of sunlight. ms. spears and i have a bill and are seeking cosponsors that you would have to put a place on your home page that says earmarks, a so the constituent can punch on it and see all the earmarks you requested, and also require committees to maintain a researchable earmark if the committee does not have the earmark listed, then it cannot fund t it's a good bill. host: mobile, alabama, republican line. caller: yeah, i was wondering on this medicare thing and our ability to ensure all these, quote, americans, and we have a lot of these illegals in here, where we can't say that we really don't want the illegals accessing this, but it seems like to democrats, you're just running along to make absolutely sure that all illegals and their families and anybody that can get here is going to have this access to our healthcare.
host: thank you. i want to start with congressman cassidy on. this as a physician, you were probably treating a lot of people. did you ask your status before you did? guest: as a physician, that's not my role, and so i don't. host: how does the system pay for people who need healthcare who aren't legal? guest: the system is currently broken. the federal government mandates that whoever shows up innage emergency room is treated, period. it doesn't matter if you are abusing the system. it doesn't matter if you are illegal. you just have to -- insurance doesn't matter. doctors never ask ip insurance or such status in the emergency room, because the federal government has a law that says you have to pay for it. now, the ult is something that is called cost shifting, where the cost of treating the uninsured but not just the cost of the uninsured but also the cost for treating medicare and medicaid, because medicare and
medicaid, despite the fact they're going bankrupt, are are paying below cost. that has shifted to the privately insured. one of the reasons private health insurance premiums are going up so much, according to, oh, i think it is mcken si or the lieuen group, $700 per year is paid by the privately ip sureed to subsidize medicare and medicaid. that is not for the uninsured that. is only a 5% piece. medicaid a a pays 88 cents on the dollar and medicare 77 cents. we are using the private to subsidize. the public plan will go in and pay medicare rates so it will pay 88 cents on the dollar, maybe 93 cents on the dollar. it will continue to cause cost shifting to the privately insured, which will continue to jack up the prices which will continue to slide. jake hackler is a ph.d. in
political science, and he is the brains behind the public health option. he was asked if this is a troe jan horse for a single-payer plan, and he says it's right there. now, that concerns me. guest: if i could jump in, because i agree with much of what congressman cassidy just said but i want to clear something up. with all due respect to vaughn, no member of congress is saying that undocumented aliens should have access to this program, to social security or any other federal program. there is no federal program right now that is open to the un documented. that is very important. americans have the right to know their taxpayer dollars are not being used to assist people here illegally. we face the issue when somebody undocumented shows up in an emergency room, we're human beings, and we get treated and pay for it through all the mechanisms that dr. cassidy has been talking about. this takes us to a thorny topic which is the need for
fundamental reforms, so we don't have 12 million people in our country that are undocumented. host: we are getting complaints about my question on campaign contributions because they thought i singled you out. i said in the outset, every time we have members of congress on, and here is an example, i been getting tweets about both members. i didn't mean to pick on you specifically. guest: i think we both agree the system is not what it should be in that regard. we would very much agree if we could take the time, energy and ugliness out of this process, we would all be happier people. host: the democrats line from ohio for the two members of the house. caller: people talk about taxes in dirty words. without them, we can't run the government. we began this downslide when we waged two wars and cut taxes to the very wealthy and now we're talking about cutting taxes to the middle class.
somebody somewhere has to start telling the truth that we're going to have to raise taxes to pay for wars, to pay for military, to pay for healthcare, to pay for everything that we have going on, and everybody has to have a shared responsibility or a shared sacrifice in this. what are your opinions on taxes? thank you. guest: it's a good and topical question right now, because yesterday the house passed pay-go legislation, which really says one thing that is intuitive to most american families t says if you're going to take down your revenues, cut taxes and look, this is something that the republican party talks about and it is a good thing. none of us hike taxes but if you're going to cut taxes the way we did many years ago under the bush administration, you're also going to cut spending so you're not just adding to the deficit. as the majority leader put it yesterday, the democratic side
likes to grow spending. pay-go says to us if you're going to grow spending, fine, but cut other spending or raise taxes. yesterday was a good day for the concept that you've got to make hard choices. was the bill perfect? no. it has exceptions that are big outs in the bill but it is back to the kind of discipline that we as a congress need to show and be honest with people about their choice of either paying taxes or accumulating debt. >> guest: well, there is a paradox here. again, i care so much about healthcare i have to calm myself down. jackie, there is a paradox here. we're saying that we are spending way too much on healthcare but nonetheless we have to raise taxes on healthcare. if you make healthcare patient centric, you can control costs. i spoke about 40% of a family practitioner's budget is for billing an insurance company. that's 40%.
if you can chain that, you can bend the curve down and not raise taxes for healthcare. health savings accounts which people can pay into as opposed to paying an insurance premium on a pre-tax basis. as it turns out, if you take a similar set of benefits for similar-sized family and & one is 30% cheaper. there is a recent study in health affairs from project hope. project hope points out that 27% of people on h.s.a.'s were previously uninsured and 40% of folks with h.s.a.'s are earning less than $50,000 a year and 60% earn less than $75,000 per year. that's because h.s.a.'s begin to achieve those three imperatives. it decreases administrative costs. it is patient centric and engages the patient into making
value conscience decisions which is the third imperative. unless we make it patient centric, we will have to raise taxes, nenner raising our goals. the government always overpromises an underfunds, particularly in healthcare. i object to increased taxes on expansion, because it will never stop t will postpone making it a patient centric process. host: this is rayon our independent line. good morning. >> good morning. the thing that is so disturbing to a lot of americans and dearly to me, at least people i talk to, but what is very disturbing is that ip insurance companies currently, they are driving the
cost of healthcare to a place that is going to destroy our country, and no one in the past or even now -- you have people who are commited to protecting the insurance companies and their profits, and the real problem with this is that we are trying to get healthcare from people who are trying to make money for their shareholders and the administrative costs with the insurance companies out of control. we have to do something and take the profit-driven model out of the system. it is competing with what we are trying to do. i hear both of you there. i don't want to p pre-judge what your motives, but at the same time to hear the republican congress talk about problems with the government being involved in healthcare and these
administrative costs, and not do one thing or be so concerned about what is happening with the insurance companies. i deal with insurance companies. doctors don't want their money anymore because of the fact that they don't want -- these insurance companies want to pick and choose. they challenge everything. we have got to get serious about healthcare. i am backing this president. we don't have all the answers now, but a lot of people i talk to, they trust the democrats. weigh want something done. host: let me jump in so we can get an answer from the congressmen. guest: rae makes important points. it is not just that costs are going up. the administrative costs associated with dealing the insurance companies are huge. here is a business model. the insurance companies make money by denying you care.
i have got private insurance a number of years ago. they sent someone around to my house to talk to me two hours to figure out if there they were going to have to pay out anything for me and my wife. they asked if we would have a kid again. if they had answered yes, they would not have covered us. when they find some reason like a disease they won't cover you that. is most broken. americans feel it and, doctors feel it because they have to deal with the insurance agencies a lot. now, the good news is within the bill, which is still very much in formation, the idea is that private agencies would not be able to cherry pick. they would have to take people with pre-existing conditions. they wouldn't be able to bounce people out of the system just because they got sick. i think this bill actually makes good steps in the direction of reigning in some of the other practices of the insurance
companies. guest: i take the perspective of the patient. i have been a patient advocate for 20 years at l.a. hospital in los angeles. i'm familiar with issues in southern california. let me first say there are things in this about that i think are good. the frustrating thing as a freshman is there actually could have been common ground if our side had been invited in. one is that i think there's good that there is guaranteed issue. i think if a woman has breaftd cancer, she should be able to get affordable health insurance on a modified community rating, maybe you pay a little bit different in california than in louisiana, but geography would be one of the reasons that would go into this. let's not be naive to think a non-profit like med cal, which is california's version of medicaid is the answer just ignores the fact that there is 14,000 children today that don't have access to s chip because california is cutting its budget. clearly you can have an e
inefficient government model which denies access to insurance because it is underfunded and overpromised. i think the immediate example of what is happening in med cal, for those children in california just should make us so sensitive to the fact that government programs can be run in such a way that ultimately patients suffer. host: last call for our members of the house. caller: first of all, i'm a ron paul republican. i know you two are freshmen members of congress. i want to suggest two books for you to read, since you're freshmen members of congress. one is "dare to speak out" by former representative paul finley, and the other one is "the israeli lobby and u.s. foreign policy." i want to know how much money
ap.a.c. has given you to get on these committees? they are very powerful jewish lobby fighting wars for israel and now trying to push us into war with iran and i want to know, are you beholden to them at all? host: thank you for the call. mr. himes, let's start with you. guest: first of all, apack doesn't give money to individual members. they have an effective lobby group for israeli members. i would take issue with some of the points made. the reality is, and i spent time living in the middle east, and the reality is we have one sure ally in the region. we have one sure ally in which our values and security interest s are valuable and i tend to lean toward them and feel an obligation to make sure that partnership is a good partnership. that doesn't mean that we don't
act fairly abroad and don't work very hard to do something that i think this president is serious about doing, which is taking up once again the terribly important work of trying to find a solution to the broader problems in the middle east, but in particular, to the israeli-palestinian challenge. guest: jim and i are going to agree on the israeli issue. i do think they are a sure ally. there is common ground that you and i must have. that is if you're a ron paul person, that means you actually believe in the importance of the individual, and when i -- so let's go back to healthcare. again, that's why i advocate a patient centric model. right now it is man against the machine. it is the man against the insurance company. the only thing innovative in the president's plan is it replaces the bureaucracy of a private insurance company with the bureaucracy of a public insurance company that doesn't have to negotiate price, but which can assign cost. now, that's very scary when the federal government can as assign
prices. that's precisely what they quite clearly want to do. it's not patient centric. ultimately, the patient will be subject to the machine, if you will, and so we can agree on one thing, which is that healthcare reform, if it is not patient centered is not healthcare reform. host: maybe sometime in the future you will come back as a pair, as you have yet more experience under your belt and see how these ig about issues have played out on the legislative process and how your evolving congressional careers are going. would you do that? guest: yes, please. guest: yes, thank you. host: we have talked about big issues today. we will just open up the phone lines and let you sound off on them. we'll be right back.
host: let me invite you to call in on open phones. the phone numbers are on the screen. you can also send in comments by e-mail, by twitter on any of the things we put on the table this morning, the oversight of the tarp funds, financial markets situation, healthcare, the president's press conference, if you would like to comment on henry louis gates and all that. we will get to your calls as they start coming in. a couple other articles not related to this that i found in the newspapers this morning. first of all, house panel oks 128 billion for two wars and house appropriations committee passed a $636 billion defense spending bill wednesday that contains $128 billion for pentagon operations in afghanistan, and john murtha, the house's top defense budget writer says more will be needed next spring. related to that in "the washington post" this morning, murtha's 12 colleagues back a
murky $160 million request. tucked into the plan for military spend something $160 million intended to help mexico's police buy u.s.-made first responder radios. it's a major purchase that one radio manufacturer got rolling, 12 members of congress formally requested and a powerful defense appropriations chairman championed, according to records, but details of the plan to pump pentagon money into mexico's crime fighting efforts are cloaked in vaguely worded language in the house defense bill. the program is one of many congressional requests in the measure which also includes 1,080 projects worth $2.7 billion, earmarks, that is, tack theed on at lawmakers as requests. open phoned. brighton, michigan. mary, independent line. caller: i'm on the line? host: you are.
caller: i am 87 years old. i have tried to be active on improving medicare for a long time. i have taken this up with the new department of health and human services. her name escapes me at the moment. taken it up with aarp. this country is not listening to the experts on medicare. they haven't sought our advice. we know the experts are the people who have been on medicare for 15 years or more. we know where it works like a charm. i believe in good single payer and these people today are talking about problems with medicare, with exceptions but nobody has thought as a group, this narrow group that knows what is needed. we is been experiencing it. i had a 16-month go around because medicare refused to care
for a skip an fall. host: had you ever been a political activist or is this new? caller: all my life. i tried to be a good citizen, but particularly with medicare, i've taken up one thing after another. the politicians aren't listening you always -- all these departments sitting down trying to figure out what to do. i heard this good doctor today from oklahoma, but he is not trying to find out what's wong with medicare, and the group has not been organized. host: next, carol, democrats' line, manassas, virginia. caller: i want to say that obama is frying trying hard to help the people of this country. i don't think he can win. the republicans have an unbelievable propaganda machine. they are constantly berating the
president and what he is trying to do. they are non-stop. they have talking points and don't veer from it. every one of the hosts on the radio stations is knocking the president. this country is going to lose because of them. they don't want the people to have any benefits. we're willing to pay. we're willing to pay through taxes and they refuse to let us do this. i don't know what is wong with these people. the fox, they are just propaganda machines, on and on and on. host: next is reed, open phone, tacoma, washington. republican line. caller: good morning. i would like to comment on the gal that commented that she thinks the president is trying to help the country. i would like to ask her to stand back and look at things at a higher level. i think he has lost his credibility, at least for me, in the context that when an american president on april 15 holds up a tea bag and into the camera shakes it and laughs.
that is an insult. that is someone who doesn't understand that the constitution was written from the context of enumerating the powers of the federal government and that's t this president hires a green czar that has an absolute marxist communist past, anthony jones. go google it. you will find page after page of interviews. he has been to prison for it. you tell me how an american president could bring in a communist, admitted communist, into his regime, and the press doesn't pick up on this? i think it's absurd. i would like to make one last comment about the medical -- about the healthcare situation. go to the new york times website and google bulgaria healthcare. you will see testimony from a couple who has lived in that nightmare of socialized communist corrupt medical system their entire life. they paid almost $600 a month prieb ry money to have their pediatrician show up when the baby was born.
unfortunately, somebody else paid $700 a month, i guess, because he wasn't there. as a result, their child had an umbilical cord wraped around its throat and it shows them holding their deaf, dumb and blind child on their lap. i'm asking you, america, anything you give to the government, nothing is going to end except corruption. host: we have to interrupt you because we have so few minutes left. thanks for your call. next is thomas, a viewer in inglewood, florida. independent line. go ahead. caller: my father is on medicare and we sent him to the hospital in an ambulance and it was $670 for an ambulance ride for 2 miles. he spent four days in the hospital and it was $41,000. medicaid picked it up and they give him motion sickness pills that he had to pay out of his own pocket because he was light-headed and spent four days doing tests on everything. it was just sugar. it my dad is 82. smoked for 50 years and he's in
perfect health. medicaid charged $40,000 for motion sickness pills. then you come down here to florida and you will find elderly people that have worked all their lives and they have car insurance from g.m., ford, chrysler. where is the legacy costs in the unions that barack obama backed and they're not given the unions no benefits and all this medicaid and all this stuff? i think the unions is backing this health bill so they can lower their costs an all their budgets that the banks that bailed them out and when the bank people come in and complain, who pays for their insurance? host: thank you. democrats' line, margo, florida. caller: one of the things i was calling is right now, it is, people who say the government would be between people and their doctors, right now it is insurance companies between you and your doctor. i was listening to n.p.r. yesterday and dr. shiner who
said he has been president obama's doctor for over 21 yires until he went into the white house. he said the very same thing and actually, he was invited to last night's talk on healthcare, and to ask questions but at the last minute he was uninvited, and he believes the decision they they may have come from the white house because he was really for secretary of state, when she was running, hillary clinton's healthcare plan, but obama's is at least something, but he also commented that people who have insurance, particularly with h.m.o.'s they decide who you doctor is an even if you don't have h.m.o.'s you have to go -- he said he had to fight with insurance companies who didn't even know his patients, to say they need this kind of medicine, and i don't want to take up too much time, but the last thing i want to say is when some of the republicans or blue dog democrats say we need the private sector, well, two quick comments about that.
the private sector with the banking industry got us into a huge mess with deregulation, and the last thing i wanted to say is that also, there will be competition, and if it means that a c.e.o. from a health insurance company makes $15 million instead of $25 million, as it's stated in my paper, the saint pete times the other day, i don't think it is the fault that they have to let lawyers go and that's basically it. host: next up, steve on the republican line from bakersfield, california. caller: good morning. two things on the healthcare that representative himes didn't really answer. he said that illegal aliens were not eligible for any federal programs. he has to be in a fan tass fantasy world. you cannot go to an emergency room in california without hearing non-stop spanish. then the other thing is i have
multiple sclerosis and i'm 57-year cancer survivor. is was put on medicare after i was in bankruptcy. now that i'm trying to get off of medicare, they're going to charge me $900 a month out of pocket before i can get coverage from anyone, medicare, private, it doesn't matter, so beware, people. they get you in this government program, you're stuck, and there is nothing you can do about it. host: next up is ben, phoenix. good morning. independent liep. caller: go back to nixon. for six minutes of tape he lost his job. how come our previous administration can lose 3 or 4 years of e-mails, looking back at enron and the energy crisis we are in. why do we have access to this information? what were they talking about? you look at american enterprise institute's web page, they
actually brag that one of their decisions trumps g.e.'s staff. it is a brag. go look at it. host: next is houston, open phones, democrats. go ahead, houston. caller: good morning. thank you, susan, for taking my call. host: sure. caller: you mentioned briefly something about the henry louis gates, jr. host: yes, we had a question on it earlier in the program. caller: i have yet to get the full story as to what really transpired with the incident with the police department there in cambridge. i'm surprised to know -- i don't know what size cambridge, massachusetts is. they have the harvard college there, but i'm surprised that there wasn't anything said about